If you asked me one year ago whether Manchester United had it in them to be struggling so much in the Barclays Premier League that they had to so passionately celebrate scoring a second goal to lead a Fulham side who had gone up early and were then happy to just sit back and soak the pressure from what looked like a million crosses into the box, then I would have told you to stop dreaming.
However, such is the unpredictable nature of this sport which has turned so many people into fanatics. It was really sad to see in the papers that an Arsenal fan had stabbed his counterpart (May he Rest in Peace) to death just because Liverpool embarrassed us at Anfield. This not only raises the question of morality but also has you wondering why some people invest so much emotion in a sport that is played so far away that they have to result in committing such brutal acts. I think that this twitter remark from a good cousin of mine sums it up.
In the wake of that game and the criticism levelled at the MUFC team, I remembered a tense game at Tyneside against Newcastle where one Laurent Koscienly scored the only goal of the match to keep our champions league hopes alive. After the match, all the Arsenal players went to their fans and celebrated like they had just won the league, something that sparked a huge wave of criticism from haters. Most of their arguments were from the point of view that celebrating like that for a top four finish from a club of Arsenal’s stature demonstrated a lack of ambition. I would have personally wanted to see their reaction had we lost and finished outside the Champion League spots!
I have always thought that this kind of condemnation is very harsh and takes away the beauty of the sport and the very spontaneous nature of the passion associated with it. In the Man U Vs Fulham game, the hypocrisy in all this is demonstrated by the trolling that happened after Darren Bent equalised for Fulham. There is no winning in football and whether you sweep all trophies on offer or go a century without trophies, you will be hated in some quarters.
Therefore if Van Persie wants to run across the field naked after scoring an equaliser against Cardiff which ensures that they avoid relegation, so be it. The least you can do is let him converse with the little boy inside. Maybe this time he tells him to quit football and become a model.
I believe as long as celebrations are done safely, then there is no point condemning them unless of course we want to make the most watched sport turn into something that is so boring (like fencing). I am all for Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards fans singing their hearts out as long as they do not disrupt public transport or hurt people. There is a good reason why there are very few Karuturi sports merchandise on sale in the streets. Passion!!
Till next time.